Best screwdriver kit for working on firearms

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by wpshooter, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. wpshooter

    wpshooter Member

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    Looking for recommendations for the best screwdriver kit for working on firearms for less than $150.

    Thanks.
  2. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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  3. Charles Christensen

    Charles Christensen New Member

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    Check out the brand name "GRACE USA" on eBAY or Amazon. I don't remember the price but I think it was well under $25 for a very nice set of eight screwdrivers that are made for gun work.
  4. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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    ..whatever you do, I wouldnt recommend Wichester brand from w-mart, a BIG joke!
    For the price a coulpe a years ago, I thought, why not? Anyone need any "metal" to add to their scap pile?
  5. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    That Wheeler kit linked above is a decent set for the pricetag. A friend of mine has a couple sets of these. One stays at the cabin where we do a lot of shooting and one at home.

    Brownells has a similar set by Chapman, less bits but about half the price. You'll wind up spending a little more if you need extra bits that aren't in the set.
    http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=4979/Product/DELUXE-GUN-SCREWDRIVER-SET

    I've got a cheap Harbor Freight knockoff set similar to that Chapman set but I've added a few tips from Brownells and/or Midway.

    I've also got a whole rack full of custom ground screwdrivers for specific brand/models. Most of these were hollow-ground from whatever I had handy at the time. I've always got a box full of cheap screwdrivers (new, old, I'm not fussy) laying around in case I need to grind one to fit a specific screw.
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Two dirty little secrets about gunsmith screwdrivers:

    1) They all bend or break. There are NONE that will get out a really stubborn screw when used in a hand held driver.

    2) Most gunsmiths have a "good" set, but in the nitty-gritty, they will do as Bindernut does and grind something to fit.

    Another tip. Hollow ground screwdriver bits are great for removing tough screws, but only if chucked in a drill press and held tightly into the slot with the drill press handle while turning the chuch by hand. Buggered screws are rarely caused by breaking out the sides of the slot (unless the screw is really junk); they are caused by the screw driver jumping out because the hand can't hold it in. The drill press holds it in. (Padding, etc., should be used as needed.)

    Jim
  7. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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    Good tip, Thanks Jim!
  8. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Yup, you're right on the money Jim.
    Even a hollow-ground screwdriver can cam out of a screw head, but they're much better than the good old fashioned "flat-ground" tapered screwdrivers.

    I've got a 3/8" diameter grinding wheel that I use to grind my custom drivers. Makes for a 3/16" radius.


    Excellent advice on using a drill press to hold a bit on a tough screw. Didn't think to mention that but I've had to do it a few times also.

    Another thing that works really good is a product called EZ-Grip. It's a light oil that has carborundum grit in it. You put a drop on the screw head and the grit digs into the driver and the screw head to help keep em from camming apart.
    Valve grinding compound works too, but it's not quite as coarse of a grit.
    I learned that trick from years of splitting VCR and car-stereo assemblies that are often really tiny screws that are loc-tited in place.
  9. Charles Christensen

    Charles Christensen New Member

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    Made a mistake on the GRACE-USA set of screwdrivers. They were about $37.
  10. Dirtypacman

    Dirtypacman New Member

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    This my not be the best screwdriver kit but its a great tool for the gun bag.
    I have yet to not be able to breakdown something at the range with the use of it...

    Gun Tool: http://www.theguntool.com/
  11. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    I would have never though of using a drill press to work on a stubborn screw.

    Learn something new every day.
  12. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Yes it works because the chuck cannot be forced away from the screw. That is the problem with a hand held screw driver. This is a good thread. Good mention Jim K.

    Jim
  13. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    By the way Jim, that is a fabulous name you have.

    Jim
  14. rodriger

    rodriger Former Guest

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    Discover brand "GRACE USA" on eBay or Amazon. I do not remember the price, but I think it's well below $ 25 for eight very good screwdrivers are made to work the gun. :dancingdots:
  15. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

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    One can spend large amounts of money on ultra premium name brand tools, or firearms. The tool or gun alone will not make one a "master" or even competent. Often a well made moderately priced product will get the jobs done and last a working lifetime or two in almost all but the most severe levels of service.

    Those professionals who make their living "turning wrenches" often buy super premium tools like "Snap-On" or "Mac" for reasons that include the pride of "owning the very best"; the Tool Truck man usually extends credit; and if it ever breaks it gets repaired or replaced under a lifetime no strings warranty.

    On the other hand, lesser major retailer brand tools like "Craftsman" have a lifetime warranty, will take a lot of abuse and usually still get the job done. If you live near a "Harbor Freight Tools" store their "Professional" Chrome-Vanadium alloy steel tools made in China or Taiwan are usually a good buy for the money, if you have the skill and experience to usually judge a tool by its appearance, materials, and workmanship.
  16. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I own alot of Snap On tools. However, back in 1993 if you had a Craftsman wrench it was thick and bulky and difficult to get into tight places. As a mechanic I started out with Craftsman and some did break. Then Snap on came out with their Flank Drive wrenches and I bought a set. They are the best wrench I have ever owned. Also, I broke a Craftsman wrench and went into Sears to get a new one and guess what, they would not give me a new one because I was wearing a GM Mr Good Wrench shirt.

    When I was buying tools, I paid cash because I had two side jobs. So when the tool trucks came by, I offered them prices below their listings. If they said no I thanked them and walked. Next thing you know my box had a lot of Snap On tools because he met me at what I wanted to pay. When Matco and Cornwell saw that they quit saying no. Also, the first place I went was the second hand drawers for the used tools. Same warranty, great price, just used.

    Craftsman stepped up with the professional line because they had to. NAPA was offering professional tools along with many others so they had to step up. I also like SK hand Tools. I think their wrenches are pretty close to Snap On. I went with the professional tools because I didn't have time to ge to Sears if I broke them, and believe me I broke them. I have the same Snap On wrenches and have never broke one to this day.

    As for Harbor Freight, I have broke a 5" SwiveL Vise, I burned a grinder up, and I did have a set of their tools in the tool box in my truck and they were their good ones (wrench's) but I broke one (wrench) on a truck that was broke down and got rid of them ASAP. Now everything in my truck is Craftsman except my wrenches. They are NAPA (which is the same as a Craftsman Professional). I still buy some Harbor Freight tools but not much.
  17. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I use the wheeler kit, The big 100 dollar one, and the drill press trick. I havent buggered a screw since i first started smithin. Fact ive gotten real good at fixin the buggered screws that do come in.
  18. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks JLA, I have been watching for an answer on this thead. I am scouting for one now.
  19. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    I buy stuff from Harbor Freight if I intend to loan it out. If it's just for me to use, Craftsman is the minimum.

    But I don't know anything about the real thread topic. :)
  20. gvw3

    gvw3 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Mac,Snap on, Craftsman. In that order I owned a body shop for 27 years and in hand tools that's what I used. All very good quality.

    Been out of that business for 15 years and no longer need many tools.
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